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Rapid effects of deep brain stimulation reactivation on symptoms and neuroendocrine parameters in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Publication year 2016
Published in Translational Psychiatry
Authors P. De Koning, M. Figee, E. Endert, P. Van den Munckhof, P Richard Schuurman, J.G. Storosum, D. Denys, E. Fliers

Improvement of obsessions and compulsions by deep brain stimulation (DBS) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often preceded by a rapid and transient mood elevation (hypomania). In a previous study we showed that improvement of mood by DBS for OCD is associated with a decreased activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal axis. The aim of our present study was to evaluate the time course of rapid clinical changes following DBS reactivation in more detail and to assess their association with additional neuroendocrine parameters. We included therapy-refractory OCD patients treated with DBS (>1 year) and performed a baseline assessment of symptoms, as well as plasma concentrations of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin, growth hormone, copeptin and homovanillic acid. This was repeated after a 1-week DBS OFF condition. Next, we assessed the rapid effects of DBS reactivation by measuring psychiatric symptom changes using visual analog scales as well as repeated neuroendocrine measures after 30 min, 2 h and 6 h. OCD, anxiety and depressive symptoms markedly increased during the 1-week OFF condition and decreased again to a similar extent already 2 h after DBS reactivation. We found lower plasma prolactin (41% decrease, P=0.003) and TSH (39% decrease, P=0.003) levels during DBS OFF, which increased significantly already 30 min after DBS reactivation. The rapid and simultaneous increase in TSH and prolactin is likely to result from stimulation of hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which may underlie the commonly observed transient mood elevation following DBS.

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